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Gov. Whitmer Signs Bipartisan Legislation to Ensure Clean Drinking Water in Schools and Childcare Centers


October 19, 2023



Gov. Whitmer Signs Bipartisan Legislation to Ensure Clean Drinking Water in Schools and Childcare Centers


LANSING, Mich. – Today, Governor Gretchen Whitmer signed bipartisan bills to protect children in Michigan by requiring the installation of water filters in childcare centers and schools to prevent lead contamination, known as Filter First bills.  


“Every parent wants to make sure their kids are healthy, and today’s bills ensure that our kids have safe and clean drinking water when they sip from the drinking fountain,” said Governor Whitmer. “In Michigan, we have seen the devastating and long-lasting impact of lead exposure, and we are committed to making sure no child has to suffer through this again. That’s why we’ve enforced the strongest lead and copper rule in the country, invested billions of dollars into water facilities, and helped communities replace lead service lines and rebuild their water infrastructure.” 


Together, House Bills 4341 and 4342, sponsored by state Representative Ranjeev Puri (D – Canton), Cynthia Neeley (D – Flint), and Senate Bill 88, sponsored by Senator Sylvia Santana (D – Detroit) will enact the Clean Drinking Water Act and require schools and childcare centers to install filtered-faucets, develop a drinking water management plan, and conduct routine sampling and testing to ensure safe and accessible drinking water for children. 


“Flint has paid an unimaginable price for water contamination. This is why I continue to push legislation that focuses on clean water and why this filter first bill package has been a priority for me. We must take steps to protect Michiganders from harmful contaminants — especially our kids," state Rep. Cynthia Neeley (D-Flint). “Lead poisoning can have devastating effects on the health and development of our kids. Having a drinking water management plan ensures the most up-to-date strategies and tools are in place to ensure safe water sources. I am elated that these bills are now signed into law.” 


“No amount of lead in water is safe for kids. It’s a public health issue, an environmental issue and an equity issue. As parents in the Great Lakes State — surrounded by an abundance of fresh water — the least we can expect is that the place we send our children every day to learn and play is safe and has clean drinking water. I’m glad we’re on that path now,” said state Rep. Ranjeev Puri (D-Canton)


“This legislation demonstrates a high level of commitment and care to Michigan families. More importantly, we are showcasing we care about one of our most vulnerable populations — our youth,” said State Senator Sylvia Santana (D-Detroit). “Impacts of child lead exposure are well known, as well as negative effects on the learning environment. With implementation of filter first, and monitoring water quality in all schools and daycare centers, our state is taking a preventative approach to ensure all children receive the head start in life they deserve.” 


Governor Whitmer’s Work to Protect our Drinking Water  

  •  Enforced the strongest Lead and Copper Rule for drinking water in the country. 
  • Established health-based standards for PFAS in our drinking water supplies. 
  • Signed an executive directive to improve Michigan’s drinking water protections.
  • Signed a FY 2024 budget investing nearly $600 millions to protect drinking water, helping communities replace lead service lines, rebuild sewers, and more.
  • Took action to replace all lead water service lines in the City of Benton Harbor in under 18 months. Signed a package of bills to help communities access funding for water infrastructure.